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Dictators will die: Zelenskyy quotes Charlie Chaplin in video message at Cannes

India Today logo India Today 17-05-2022 India Today Web Desk
Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears during the opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears during the opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival

As the 75th Cannes Film Festival kicked off in France on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprise appearance via video link. In a live satellite video address from Kyiv, Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked for the cinema world's solidarity with the Ukrainians in the face of the Russian invasion.

During the festival's opening ceremony, Zelenskyy spoke at length about the connection between cinema and reality, referencing films like Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now" and Charlie Chaplin's "The Great Dictator" as not unlike Ukraine's present circumstances.

Zelenskyy quoted Charlie Chaplin's 1940 film 'The Great Dictator', saying: "The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish."

"We need a new Chaplin who will demonstrate that the cinema of our time is not silent," implored Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who drew a standing ovation.

Emphasising that their future depends on cinema, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, "Today, the cinema is not silent. Remember these words."

"The power they've taken from the people will be returned to the people," said Zelenskyy.

The war in Ukraine is expected to be a regular presence in Cannes. The festival has barred Russians with ties to the government. Several films from prominent Ukrainian filmmakers, including Sergei Loznitsa's documentary "The Natural History of Destruction" are set to be screened during the 12-day festival. Footage shot by Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaraviius before he was killed in Mariupol in April will also be shown by his fiancée, Hanna Bilobrova.

This is not the first time that Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made an appearance at an international event to draw attention to the war in Ukraine. Last month, Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered a video message during the 64th Annual Grammy Awards. He urged support for his country and asked artists to "fill the silence" brought by war with music.

(With input from AP)

ALSO READ | R Madhavan, Prasoon Joshi, Anurag Thakur, Shekhar Kapur represent India at Cannes 2022. See pics

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